Sunday, November 15, 2015

Review: Puccini's Manon Lescaut - Deutsche Oper Berlin


Two great evenings on a row is seldom in my life, but it did happen this weekend. My God, let's embrace this divine performance of Manon Lescaut.
The production itself is a revival , done by Gilbert Deflo. The stage and costumes looked like a cheaper simplified version of the more classic productions we see at the Met or Royal Opera House. Nothing impressive. But we're not here for that, instead for the diva: Sondra Radvanovsky.

Sondra Radvanovsky, a regular guest at the Met in NYC (a  new production of Roberto Devereux is planned for her next April), visited Berlin and performed the title role of Puccini's Manon Lescaut in Deutsche Oper Berlin. It was a night to be remembered. The range of her vocal is astonishing, her high register is really stable and strong, that means (according to my laymen vocab): no screaming. Her Sola perduta, abbandonata pierced the hearts, a genuine emotion display combined with the most beautiful voice. BRAVO!!! BRAVO!!! BRAVO!!! The applause for her at the end brought her to tears and it was indeed quite overwhelming for her.

Thank God, Stefano La Colla, our Des Grieux, could balance this amazing performance. Although seemed quite stiff on stage, I wouldn't complain a lot in the vocal department.
The rest of the cast is solid. The chorus displayed a fascinating performance - bravo!

Donald Runnicles conducted the orchestra in a grand manner, they sounded really good on the loud parts, as well as on the more lyrical ones. The music for this opera itself is a pure joy for me, it's a beautiful opera from the very first note until its very last. No wonder, it became Puccini first international breakthrough. After this third Manon, I could safely say that this is definitely one of my Italian opera.
Conclusion: viva Radvanovsky!

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